Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Flu Game Shame

I just finished watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s the story of Michael Jordan’s career and the intertwined story of the Chicago Bulls’ twin three-peats. I must say, it doesn’t matter if you’re a sports fan or not – it is riveting television.

Along with Tiger King, it comes with my highest Netflix recommendation.

I remember the three-peats, but I was unaware of a very important fact that came to my attention in episode nine of the documentary – a fact that brings utter shame on the entire state of Utah.

It happened before the fifth game of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. The game was in Utah and the series was tied 2-2, and in a best-of-seven series, game five is huge.

Game five went down in the history books as “The Flu Game,” because Jordan was sick as a dog the night before, in bed all day before the game getting fluids through an IV, and looked like the walking dead when he went out onto the court.

I remember the flu game, but I did not know the real story. The story that casts a shadow of ignominy (Greek for “you suck”) over the entire beehive state.

Jordan and the Bulls were staying at the Marriott in Park City. It was 10:00 the night before game five. Jordan was in his hotel room hanging out with his bodyguards and his personal trainer. He was hungry and they were trying to find him some food.

The hotel’s room service was already closed, and no restaurants were open except for one pizza place that finally answered the phone. Jordan’s trainer ordered the pizza and a little while later five guys showed up to deliver it, all trying to get a peek inside the room.

The trainer paid for the pizza at the door and brought it into the room, but didn’t have a good feeling about the whole situation. When was the last time five pizza delivery guys brought you your large thin-crust peperoni? That is a full four more pizza guys than the industry standard single pizza guy.

Jordan’s trainer told the room about the group delivery and expressed his concerns, warning against touching the pizza for fear of foul play. It was obvious the pizza guys knew the food was going to the Bulls, and maybe they even knew it was going to Jordan himself. Michael was hungry enough that he said screw it and ate the whole pizza himself.

Four hours later, Jordan was hurling his guts out in the hotel bathroom.

Flu my ass.

But let’s just forget about the pizza for a minute. Here’s the thing, Utah – Jordan scored 38 points that night and even had the clutch three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the game to put it away. He beat you guys with the “flu.” That was impressive enough at the time when we all thought it was the actual flu, and served to show that you guys, as a basketball team, never really had a chance.

Now, not being able to beat the Bulls in the ‘90s is nothing to be ashamed of as a basketball team, but let’s face it – if you can’t even do it when Jordan is near death, that should tell you something.

Now let’s get back to the pizza and the tarnish of shame it brings upon your entire ridiculously straight-bordered state.

First Pizza Scenario: Assuming the pizza was purposely tainted in an attempt to disable one or more of the Bulls players, that means you had residents of Utah who had zero confidence in your ability to win a championship on your own. Nice fan base, losers. Shame on you.

Second Pizza Scenario: Assuming the food poisoning was accidental and the pizza was not purposely tainted, that means you have a state that can’t even make a pizza right. The city of Chicago beats the entire state of Utah in basketball and pizza. Shame on you.

Overriding Utah Food Scenario: You suck at food service in general. You have a state with major hotels that shut down room service before 10:00. Seriously? And your restaurants can’t muster the strength to stay open much past sunset either, huh? What a fun place to visit! Congratulations on being the lamest state anyone has ever heard of. Shame, shame, big, fat food service shame on you. Gordon Ramsay will be flying in soon to yell at you. Try not to faint from all the strong language.

I’m not even mad about the Jordan pizza thing. You got what you deserved with that one. I’m mad that if I visit your pretend state, apparently I won’t be able to get a cheeseburger at 11:00 at night.

Get it together, Utah. That is just sad.

And shameful.

See you soon (not you, Utah),



Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen


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